Burmester says he has seen several strips of heavy concentrations of Palmer amaranth pigweed. It followed the same patterns, he says, as the combine rows from the previous year.

While there’s a definite increase in the number and concentration of resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed in the Tennessee Valley, most of the problems are in spots, he says. “We didn’t see any fields last year that were totally taken by pigweed,” says Burmester.

Some of the worst infestations of pigweed in cotton were following corn, he adds, and corn herbicides are available that will control pigweed.

“If you have a bad field of Palmer pigweed, I’ll probably ask first if you rotate with corn. Many growers cut corn in August and early September, and then harvest soybeans and forget about the corn. What happens is you’re just growing a good crop of weed seed. I saw a lot of corn fields and early soybean fields where the weeds came up later,” he says.

Auburn University researchers have found that teaweed is a better host of reniform nematodes than cotton or soybeans, says Burmester. “If you let teaweed — or iron weed — grow in the winter or fall, you’re probably producing several generations of reniform nematodes. There’s more than one reason for controlling some of these winter weeds.”

Growers in the Tennessee Valley have dealt with horseweed for awhile now, he says. “It just seems to be getting worse and worse each year. We first began seeing resistant horseweed here about five years ago. All we had to do for awhile was put a little Clarity in with our Roundup and it took care of the problem, but things are changing.”

In some cases, says Burmester, growers are using Valor to get residual control.

“The physiology of this weed has changed. It used to be a winter weed. Now it seems to come up at anytime of the year. But if you get good control early, and you think you’ve got it made, you can still get good flushes of horseweed coming up later in the year.”

Another weed control issue facing growers in north Alabama is whether or not they’ll be able to use flumetron or Cotoran next year. “Cotoran is a herbicide we’ve used for many years in cotton. Our cotton acres have decreased somewhat in recent years, but with current prices, it may make a comeback this next season. We found out last year that Cotoran is no longer labeled for use in Madison, Limestone, Lawrence, Colbert and Tuscaloosa counties in Alabama. This was based on groundwater data taken in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“We’ve had some meetings on this, and all I can say now is that I really don’t think things are going to change. We weren’t using enough Cotoran to make it feasible for the company to do research and get those counties back on the label.”

phollis@farmpress.com